Norovirus is a common cause of infectious gastroenteritis that results in diarrhoea and vomiting. As it's most common during the winter months, norovirus is sometimes known as the winter vomiting bug, but infections can occur at any time of year.

Norovirus is very easily spread from one person to another. Outbreaks of norovirus where more than two people are infected can commonly occur where people are in close contact with one another for long periods of time, in situations such as:

  • hospitals
  • care homes
  • schools
  • cruise ships

Hand hygiene is very important – use soap and water for hand washing as alcohol based hand rub may be ineffective for norovirus.

It's important to wash your hands, particularly after contact with someone who is ill, after using the toilet and before preparing food.

To find out more about norovirus and how to stop it spreading, visit the NHS Inform website.

View our video, which explains what norovirus is and what to do if you've got it.


Data and surveillance

Surveillance report

Confirmed cases of norovirus

Data tables​

View annual totals for norovirus in the ten-year gastrointestinal and zoonoses data tables.

Norovirus ward and bay closures

NHS boards report to us all ward and bay closures due to norovirus including number of patients and staff affected and length of outbreak. These figures are added to an ongoing dashboard where you can see figures by board and date.

This dashboard has been produced by ARHAI Scotland, part of NHS National Services Scotland.